WELLS – Following the Wells baseball team’s 20-0 victory in three innings Monday in Carlin, the Leopards surely would have had no problem Tuesday at home against the Railroaders.
Carlin played its best ballgame of the season, nearly handing Wells a loss on its home field – the Railroaders scoring the final-three runs of the contest – the Leopards hanging on by the skin of their claws for a 7-6 win.
The Leopards took the upper hand early, senior Zane Rodriguez crossing for the game’s first run in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by senior Brett Rodriguez.
Runners were placed on the corners when junior Sergio Soriano was hit by a pitch, and Wells went up 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Riley Stewart – driving in senior Enrique Aguilar.
Sophomore Jadon Anderson was also hit by a pitch, and the Leopards grabbed a three-run advantage on a double steal – Soriano swiping home as Anderson took second – Carlin ending the frame with an out of the base path.
Aguilar struck out the side in the top of the second, one out notched at first base after a dropped-third strike.
Carlin sat down Wells one-two-three in the home half – popping up to junior Raiden Ross at first base on consecutive at-bats and senior pitcher Dustin Harris tossing a punchout.
Aguilar struck out the leadoff hitter in the top of the third, but freshman Quincy Doxey ripped a line-drive to center field – Zane Rodriguez narrowly missing a diving attempt but recovering and cutting down the attempted double with a rocket to Brett Rodriguez.
Harris started a rally, reaching on a single to third base.
The next two batters – sophomore Alex Donston and senior John Gamble – were each hit by pitches, loading the bases.
With the paths packed, Carlin found the board – senior Ethan Davis drawing a walk and driving in Harris.
On the following AB, senior Gabriel Doxey fouled off four pitches and won a nine-pitch battle – earning a free pass – scoring Donston.
With Wells’ lead sliced to one at 3-2, the Leopards escaped further damage with a strikeout by Aguilar.
The Leopards regained some footing in the bottom of the third.
Zane Rodriguez led off with a triple to right field – scoring on a passed ball – Aguilar finding a center-field gap for consecutive triples.
He darted down the line for a 5-2 lead on a wild pitch.
Brett Rodriguez walked, stole second base and swiped third as well – scoring on a double by Soriano to the left side.
Stewart went for a base knock, but Harris notched the second out with a K – Carlin limiting the damage on a groundout to freshman Alin Carl at second base.
The Railroaders managed a leadoff single by sophomore Josh Urie, but the Leopards tallied three straight outs to close the top of the fourth.
In the home half, Wells went three-up, three-down on three groundouts in a row to Quincy Doxey at shortstop.
Donston opened the top of the fifth with a double to center field, and the Railroaders added another run with two away.
An error behind the plate cost Wells a run, the ball arriving in time for what would have been an inning-ending, score-saving play at the dish – Donston running through the tag and the ball squirting free.
You have free articles remaining.
The Leopards gained the run back in the home half with an error at shortstop with two away, allowing Brett Rodriguez to score and open a four-run lead at 7-3.
The Railroaders challenged in the top of the sixth.
Urie led off with a double to right field, the next batter striking out against Brett Rodriguez.
Runners were placed at the corners with a base knock up the middle by Quincy Doxey, and an error in center field crossed two runs – Urie and Doxey each getting on their horses and cutting the margin to two.
Harris took second on the play and advanced to third on a single by Donston, a double swipe bringing the Railroaders to within one.
Donston was thrown out at second, but Harris raced home – the Railroaders trailing 7-6.
Wells was retired in order in the bottom of the sixth, giving Carlin one last chance for a comeback attempt.
The Leopards put Zane Rodriguez on the bump to close the show, but an error at short allowed Davis to reach in the leadoff spot.
Following a strikeout, the Leopards put two away with a play at the plate – Aguilar applying the tag as Davis attempted to swipe the game-tying run.
Urie extended the game and put runners on second and third with a two-out double to left field, but the game closed with a clutch K by Zane Rodriguez.
Wells hung on and withstood Carlin’s test for a 7-6 victory and a season sweep.
The Railroaders actually doubled up the Leopards in hits, Carlin finishing with eight and Wells closing with four.
Carlin pitching: Harris 6 IP 4 H 7 R 6 ER 5 BB 4 K.
Wells pitching: Aguilar 3 IP 2 H 2 R 2 ER 3 BB 7 K, B. Rodriguez 3 IP 5 H 4 R 1 ER 0 BB 4 K, Z. Rodriguez 1 IP 1 H 0 R 1 BB 2 K.
Carlin batting: Urie 3-4 R, Donston 2-2 2 R, Q. Doxey 2-4 R, Harris 1-4 2 R. Davis RBI, G. Doxey RBI. 2B: Urie 2, Donston.
Wells batting: Z. Rodriguez 1-2 2 R, Aguilar 1-2 2 R, Soriano 1-2 RBI R, Stewart 1-3 RBI. B. Rodriguez RBI, 2 R. 2B: Soriano. 3B: Z. Rodriguez, Aguilar.
CARLIN – 002 013 0 – 683
WELLS – 303 010 X – 744
The Railroaders (0-2 in league) will take on the Vandals at 11 a.m. Friday, in Eureka.
Wells (3-0 in league) will face the Vandals for the second time at 4 p.m. Friday, May 3, in Eureka.